The Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) is a joint effort by four organizations
to measure sea surface height by using a radar altimeter mounted on a low-earth
orbiting satellite called Jason-2. The four mission participants are:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
France’s Centre National d’Etudes
European Meteorological Satellite Organisation
The Jason-2 satellite mission launched successfully on June 20, 2008.
The OSTM operations are planned for 5 years, comprising the Routine
Operations (3 years) and the Extended Routine Operations Phases (2
This satellite altimetry mission provides sea surface heights for
determining ocean circulation, climate change and sea-level rise.
The Jason-2 satellite
is the follow-on to the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellites. The
research satellites, TOPEX/POSEIDON and Jason-1, have been
instrumental in meeting NOAA’s operational need for sea surface height
measurements necessary for ocean modeling, forecasting
El Niño/La Niña events, and hurricane intensity prediction.
Under the OSTM program NOAA will provide support from its satellite ground
segment capabilities for management of the Jason-2 Satellite flight operations
during its routine operational phases and to acquire, produce, and distribute
geophysical data in a manner beneficial to all interested users.
Jason-2/OSTM products are archived at the National Oceanographic Data Center.